Monday 11 December 2017

Man died after choking on a Mars Bar on the Luas, inquest hears

A number of people alighted the tram with the man but the man collapsed on the ground

Luas (stock image)
Luas (stock image)

Louise Roseingrave

A man travelling on the Luas in Dublin choked on a Mars Bar and later died, an inquest heard.

David O’Reilly (49) of Kingscourt, Co Cavan stepped off the Luas at Abbey Street and collapsed on October 29, 2015.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard evidence from passenger Joanne Murray who saw the man eating a chocolate bar before a commotion erupted around him on the tram. She said a number of people alighted the tram with the man when it stopped at Abbey Street but the man collapsed on the ground.

The man’s sister Frances Buchanan told the court she had spoken to him two days beforehand and he was in 'great health and very good form.'

Garda Laura Burke of Store Street Garda Station arrived at the scene at Abbey Street and observed a male lying on the ground.

“It was only a matter of minutes from Mr O’Reilly’s collapse to our arrival,” Garda Burke said.

The man was rushed to the Mater Hospital where part of a Mars bar was removed from his airway.

Further remnants of the chocolate bar were removed later using a specialist scope. However the man had suffered irreversible brain damage due to a lack of oxygen to the brain. The man was on a methadone programme for previous drug use but no toxicology tests were taken at the time of arrival in hospital as medics treated the choking directly, the court heard.

In his medical report Dr Stephen Stuart, Consultant on call at the Mater Hospital noted the man had inhaled part of a Mars Bar and suffered a cardiac arrest. Mr O’Reilly died at the Mater Hospital on November 17. The cause of death was severe brain damage due to asphyxiation caused by aspiration of food according to a post-mortem report. .

The inquest was adjourned due to some family member’s concerns regarding Mr O’Riordan’s move from intensive care to another ward on November 11.

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